Solarize Metro East has achieved another milestone, reducing costs for solar power.
The group purchasing program for homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profits includes price breaks as the group collectively reaches benchmarks – most recently 250 kW – which earns all participants a 3 percent rebate on their purchase price.
“Solar energy pays for itself,” said Dr. Mike Murphy, optometrist and owner of Vision Source in Swansea. “Why not control the cost of (or eliminate the cost of) something you must use every day and otherwise have to pay ever-increasing rates?”
Since program launch May 1, 31 home, business and farm owners in Madison and St. Clair counties have committed to adding solar to their properties, and three households already have their solar arrays installed.
Due to high demand volume, the program deadline has been extended to Oct. 31.
The Solarize program invites Madison County and St. Clair County residents to encourage friends, families and coworkers to join them in attending one of three remaining free non-profit-sponsored Solar Power Hours to learn more about solar energy and potentially invest in affordable solar.
Regardless of where a person lives in the counties, residents may attend any of the remaining educational events:
• Oct. 4 – 6:30 p.m., Belleville City Hall in the Council Chambers, 101 S. Illinois St, Belleville
• Oct. 8 – 6:30 p.m., Edwardsville Public Library, 112 S. Kansas St., Edwardsville
• Oct. 11 – 6:30 p.m., O’Fallon City Hall Council Chambers, 255 South Lincoln Ave. O’Fallon, Ill.
Solarize Metro East is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association at no cost to the counties. This type of program has been successful in other jurisdictions in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, and as seen in Madison County as well as Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, Milwaukee and Cedar Rapids.
Solarize Metro East is sponsored by Lewis and Clark Community College, Sierra Club, Madison County Resource Management, the cities of Belleville and Columbia, and Glen Carbon Cool Cities Committee, one of several Cool Cities in Illinois established by the Sierra Club over the past several years.
A solar installation company headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Swansea, StraightUp Solar, was selected through a competitive proposal process on the basis of quality workmanship and local experience to provide free solar site assessments and solar installations for the program participants.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call (715) 592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.